'While dancing you forget the stress'

| Stan Waning

Across the country, club life has been at a standstill for months. Also on campus there is a desolate atmosphere. How do associations manage to pass the time anyway? In this tenth episode of ‘Een rondje langs de velden’: Jenny Schwabe, president of break dance and hip hop association Break-Even.

Today, the Psychology student is experiencing exactly one year of corona crisis within the association. Divided into two roles: Schwabe was only a member of Break-Even until September. Then she took over the gavel.

How did you experience the past year within Break-Even?

'It was not comparable to the situation before corona. I noticed that it was difficult to keep people motivated. We took every opportunity to keep on doing something. We were active even under the strictest measures. We wanted to keep doing that and we did our best to do so.’

You always continued to train?

'It wasn't always easy, but fortunately we did. Most of the classes were online, but in the summer we could also go outside for a while. Every week we scheduled two hip hop classes and a long break dance class. Online, the experience was a lot less engaging, because you have no contact with each other. We are now trying to go outside more often, but it is still difficult to predict the weather conditions. Last week we decided to cancel a lesson because of rain, but then it stayed dry. That's disappointing, especially since we all want to train so badly.'

Is it okay to train outside?

'It has advantages and disadvantages. Because you are so dependent on the weather it remains uncertain. We hold the hip hop classes at the DJ table between the Coop and the athletics track. We do break dancing somewhere on a grass field. Training without mirrors also has its advantages. A mirror always gives feedback and that can slow you down in your dancing. Without mirrors nobody judges and that is quite nice for many members. Especially since we haven't seen each other in a long time, everyone enjoys the lessons outside. While dancing, you can forget about the stress you experience during the day at the university for a while, whether it's inside or outside.'

Do you work towards a performance?

'We were lucky last year that we were able to have our show right before the lockdown. That only made a difference of a week. We'd like to hold a show in the summer. You see other clubs working with livestreams, so we would like to do something different for that reason. We are going to make an interactive video, but what that will look like exactly remains to be seen.'

Did your membership drop last year?

‘We were at eighty members, now we are at 78. So a small decline, but that's nothing. I consult a lot with other associations and there you sometimes see larger declines. Fortunately, this does not apply to us. I hope we can get together again physically soon with all the members, because that's what benefits everyone the most.'

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